Dodge resurrects Demon as ‘next Hellcat’

Dodge will resurrect a demon from its past that promises to outperform its popular 707-horsepower Hellcat models.

The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV brand on Thursday announced it is “raising the bar again” with the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. The car is set to make its global debut for the New York International Auto Show in April.

“It’s a next Hellcat,” Dodge boss Tim Kuniskis told The Detroit News this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. “It’s part of our heritage and it’s a great name.”

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The Demon originally was a two-door fastback hardtop variant of the 1971-72 Dodge Dart. The brand also built a roadster concept car called the Dodge Demon at the 2007 Geneva Auto Show that never came to fruition.

Kuniskis, head of Fiat Chrysler’s passenger car brands for North America, declined to provide specifics on the car. He said videos with details of the car will be released weekly heading up to the show.

Dodge on Thursday launched a microsite (ifyouknowyouknow.com) for the Demon that will host the videos. It also released the car’s logo, which features a Hellcat-esque Demon. In the first video, “Cage,” an animated Hellcat “transforms, thus beginning a new chapter in the Dodge brand’s performance legacy.”

Kuniskis, in a statement, said the car “is conceived, designed and engineered for a subculture of enthusiasts who know that a tenth is a car and a half second is your reputation.”

The Challenger SRT Demon will go on sale alongside the Hellcat SRT Challenger and Charger models, which will continue for the 2018 model year, Kuniskis said. He declined to say if there will be a Charger SRT Demon.

The $65,000-plus Hellcat models have served as muscle-car halos for the Dodge brand since being announced in 2014, even though they represent a relatively small slice of sales. The cars are powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 engine that produces 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque.

The rollout of the Demon is the opposite of what the company did with the Dodge Challenger Hellcat SRT: The Hellcat was unveiled and then details were released in the run-up to when they hit showrooms. By the time the Demon is shown, motorheads should know everything — engine, performance, pricing, etc. — according to Kuniskis.

“It’s the exact flip-of-a-script of what we did with Hellcat,” he said, adding the slower rollout cadence of the Hellcat was “because nothing like it existed.”

The Demon comes amid rumors that Ford Motor Co. is getting ready to release a new range-topping Mustang. And according to Canadian auto union Unifor, Fiat Chrysler will extend the current platform of the Charger and Challenger through at least 2020.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne on Monday confirmed that the company’s all-new Giorgio platform is planned to underpin the next generation of the vehicles, which is underpinning the Alfa Romeo midsize Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV.

The Demon could help bring some momentum to Dodge, which experienced a 4 percent decline in U.S. sales in 2016. The sales drop was largely due to the decision to stop production of the Dodge Dart compact sedan in September. Challenger sales were down 3 percent to fewer than 64,500 cars sold domestically.

The 2017 New York International Auto Show promises to be a high-powered one for Fiat Chrysler. The Demon unveil adds to the company’s plans to unveil the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, a high-performance variant of the popular SUV.

By: Michael Wayland

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/detroit-auto-show/2017/01/12/dodge-resurrects-demon-next-hellcat/96470136/

All-new Chrysler Pacifica Only Minivan Named IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for 2017

Today’s announcement by the IIHS reprises the Chrysler Pacifica’s 2016 TSP+ designation, and complements the five-star overall safety rating the Pacifica achieved in testing by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“With more than 100 available safety and security features, everything from Forward Collision Warning to a 360-degree Surround View Camera to the ability to parallel park itself, the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is designed and built to check the box on key attributes many families value above all others – safety and security,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands – FCA North America. “Pacifica is the only minivan to earn the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating for 2017, further solidifying its place as the leader in the segment.”

TSP+ status is contingent on achieving ratings of “good” in five IIHS crashworthiness evaluations. The Chrysler Pacifica achieves “good” – the highest possible rating – in each. The tests simulate:

  • a side impact with a large SUV or pickup truck;
  • a moderate-offset frontal impact;
  • a small-offset frontal impact;
  • roof-deformation consistent with a rollover; and
  • a rear collision capable of inducing whiplash.

High-strength steel accounts for 72 percent of its body structure, 38 percent of which is Advanced High-Strength Steel (AHSS). Such material choice was a key contributor to the all-new minivan’s crashworthiness, however, advanced engineering contributed further.

Using an in-house process called Rapid Concept Development (RCD), FCA US engineers employed high-powered computers to identify optimal body-structure design. The computers help simulate vehicle performance and pinpoint strategies that best accommodate occupant protection.

In certain frontal impacts, these strategies include dividing crash energy between multiple components, such as frame rails and the vehicle’s engine cradle.

While the all-new Pacifica aces the required crash tests, the best safety features are those that help drivers avoid collisions. The Chrysler Pacifica’s Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system earns a rating of “superior,” the highest possible grade the IIHS awards for this technology and another prerequisite to achieve TSP+ status.

The Pacifica’s system is called Forward Collision Warning-Plus. It features sensor-fusion technology, which combines the particular attributes of radar sensors and cameras for greater precision. The system only responds when camera and radar agree that a frontal impact appears imminent.

System response comprises audible and visual driver warnings and/or AEB. And no other minivan features sensor-fusion technology; competitive systems employ either cameras or radar sensors.

AEB is available in 10 FCA US vehicles across seven segments:

  • Full-size SUV (Dodge Durango)
  • Mid-size SUV (Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Cherokee)
  • Small SUV/Crossover (Jeep Renegade, Fiat 500X)
  • Mid-size sedan (Chrysler 200)
  • Premium mid-size sedan (Alfa Romeo Giulia)
  • Full-size sedan (Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger)
  • Minivan (Chrysler Pacifica)

Forward Collision Warning-Plus is among more than 100 safety and security features available on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, which starts at $28,595, excluding destination charges.

Earning a 2017 Top Safety Pick+ designation is the latest in a string of more than two dozen honors accumulated, so far, by the all-new Chrysler Pacifica. Numerous North American automotive publications and journalism organizations, such as the following, have named it among 2017’s “best” vehicles:

  • Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC)
  • Car and Driver
  • Cars.com
  • Consumer Guide® Automotive
  • Kelley Blue Book
  • Ruedas ESPN
  • The Car Connection
  • The Car Guide / Le Guide de L’Auto
  • Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA)

** The designation applies to any 2017 Chrysler Pacifica produced after August 2016.

About Chrysler Brand
The Chrysler brand has delighted customers with distinctive designs, craftsmanship, intuitive innovation and technology all at an extraordinary value since the company was founded in 1925.

Whether it is the family-room-on-wheels functionality of the all-new Chrysler Pacifica minivan, the groundbreaking, bold design of the Chrysler 300, or the simple elegance and extraordinary driving experience of the Chrysler 200, Chrysler brand vehicles reward the passion, creativity and sense of accomplishment of its owners. Beyond just exceptionally designed vehicles, the Chrysler brand has incorporated thoughtful features into all of its products, such as the innovative center console with pass through storage and sliding cup holders in the Chrysler 200, the industry-exclusive Stow ‘n Go seating and storage system on the Chrysler Pacifica and the fuel-saving Fuel Saver Technology in the Chrysler 300.

The Chrysler brand’s succession of innovative product introductions continues to solidify the brand’s standing as the leader in design, engineering and value. The premium for the Chrysler brand is in the product, not the price.

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Dec. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ —

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/all-new-chrysler-pacifica-only-minivan-named-iihs-top-safety-pick-for-2017-300375053.html